Ships of shame (livestock carriers)

thunderd
3rd June 2005, 11:27
Has anyone ever worked on the so called "ships of shame", the ones that carry live sheep etc around the world?

I have seen media reports of the conditions on these ships and was wondering if things are really as barbaric as the media presents them.

julian anstis
3rd June 2005, 11:50
Has anyone ever worked on the so called "ships of shame", the ones that carry live sheep etc around the world?

I have seen media reports of the conditions on these ships and was wondering if things are really as barbaric as the media presents them.

Derek
If you put in a search for SHIPMENTS OF LIVESTOCK at the top of the page (search forum's) Zelda started a forum on this subject a short while ago.

Jan Hendrik
30th September 2005, 03:42
It looks like the majority of info in this thread has disappeared.
I posted some nice pictures of the loading of sheep in Fremantle.
Can one of the moderators please inform where this went??
Jan

Dexter
7th October 2005, 12:51
I have watched sheep and cattle being loaded onto the rusty crap heaps which will take the poor little buggers to a death we just cannot imagine--all in the name of greed and money. The LIVE TRADE SHOULD BE BANNED NOW!

Thamesphil
7th October 2005, 13:36
I have watched sheep and cattle being loaded onto the rusty crap heaps which will take the poor little buggers to a death we just cannot imagine--all in the name of greed and money. The LIVE TRADE SHOULD BE BANNED NOW!

Wow, that's a bit generalistic. Whilst I dare say there are some cowboys (excuse the pun), as in all shipping trades, Dutch owner Vroon has a very good reputation for livestock transport. I wouldn't call it greed and money either, more like simple supply and demand.

Phil

Paul UK
7th October 2005, 13:46
This is getting a little hot, But I for one can not understand why the animals can not be slaughtered here (uk) and then frozen and shipped.

Paul

Jan Hendrik
7th October 2005, 14:02
I am not sure whether sensative issues like this should be discussed in this forum as how far do you go?
Have you ever thought the life of that chicken before you bought the frozen
part in the supermarket, mostly such chickens never felt proper soil or grass and yet you line up at KFC without thinking.

Anyway sticking to the subject, then I can only confirm what Phil is saying.
I inspected many livestock carriers and some have 7 or more levels of cargoholds, yes I crawled from one to the other, taking hours/days and must say that Vroon, and also others, do their utmost to keep the ships in top condition and of course I have also seen some badly maintained ships, like you have them with other cargoes.

There has been arguments about this topic earlier but that thread has been removed by the administrator ( I expect).
Yet I started the thread again - special purpose vessels - cormo express-, here also I state that these vessels are kept in excellent shape.
Jan

glenn
7th October 2005, 23:54
Once took a dozen Calves down to BA for breeding purposes they where carried on deck & if my memory serves me where better looked after than the crew

Dick S
7th March 2007, 16:59
All,
we carried 3000 sheep on deck from Freemantle to Singapore - the vessel was a General cargo ship with derricks.
Shepherds were suppsed to be employed but the voyage was made without them. The cadets, 4 of us, worked 12 hour shifts watering feeding and generally patrolling for the well being of the sheep.
We looked after them the best we could but I am sure some of them did not get enough food or water. We did the best we could but it was not a perfect passage. I remember having to put overboard 1 or 2 when they died.

I can still see them now.
As a matter of interest we got £20 bonus each for the trip.

I still eat lamb and mutton though

Dick S
7th March 2007, 17:02
ref my post above it was in the 1967 or 68.

duquesa
7th March 2007, 17:28
As a lowly 3/0 I once, unwillingly, had to look after a tiger. The nasty tempered blighter was fed better than I was!

Binnacle
7th March 2007, 20:43
As a lowly 3/0 I once, unwillingly, had to look after a tiger. The nasty tempered blighter was fed better than I was!

On a rather lighter note perhaps. A whale tranport calling at the Cape to refuel and take provisions en route to South Georgia shipped a load of pigs for the Island breakfast tables. An A.B. was appointed by the mate as cattleman to look after them. He was instructed by the mate to be sure he wore a hat when in the pen. On asking why ?, the mate replied "so we can identify you". The A.B. was rather plump and not exactly handsome.

notnila
7th March 2007, 21:46
In 1961 Royal Mails' "Pardo" carried 7 cows and a huge bull(all Herefords) to Brasil.The two cadets were paid 5 bob(25p) a day extra to look after them.We returned with a cargo of corned beef!! Regards Arch

lakercapt
7th March 2007, 23:13
These animals are carried live and slaughtered in their buyers religious customs.
i.e. jews muslims hindu's etc.
They will not accept frozen animals as they have to met their religious beliefs.
I do believe that this has been observed in some countries hence they ship frozen animals.
As an aside I was on a ship that took live horses to Europe so they could be slaughtered and sold for their meat.
If you have a weak stomach or are concerned about how animals are treated before slaughter become a vegitarian or maybe cabbage sqeek!!!!

jazz606
7th March 2007, 23:43
It seems strange to me that we have regulations for the "humane" slaughter of animals and then allow those regulations to be broken in the name of some religion or another. It doesn't make economic sense to cart life animals around the cost of feeding and high stowage factor are far more than refrigeration.
When I was a cadet in the Cape York we used to carry sheep on deck for Xmas Island the cadets used to get 10/- a day for feeding and watering them. I realise now that we were only doing this so that they could be ritually slaughtered.

terence
7th March 2007, 23:56
handsome the pig or the ab and there should be no customs ie laker

cboots
8th March 2007, 03:35
As I posted on the previous thread on this topic, my understanding is that a large part of the reason for shipping the animals live is that many poorer parts of the world do not have the refrigeration necessary to cope with frozen meat in large quantities. Australia has been a participant in the trade and it has caused much controversey here. I have an open mind on the topic, provided the ships are appropriately designed and equipped, and adequate provision made for their care, I can't really see how this differs from any other type of animal transportation and slaughter. As someone else has already mentioned it would not do to inquire too deeply as to the lifestyle satisfaction of any animal remains that you purchase in your local supermarket; so unless one is an organic vegan, and they have their own questions to answer, best to keep out of this argument.
CBoots

treeve
8th March 2007, 04:52
I am sure, in any event, that these animals are better looked after than those when the SS Suffolk was lost in 1886; they were kept on deck; and when she struck the coast at the Lizard, they were left on board; eventually they were washed overboard by massive seas, and left to fend for themselves, and eventually being drowned or severely maimed on the rocks, and left to die a horrible slow painful death; thankfully one gentleman broke the laws of the time and shot them.

GRHH
8th March 2007, 22:10
For my sins I was sent, as 2/O in May 1979, to join the "Farid Fares" which ended her days ablaze somewhere in the Indian Ocean. She was a 5 hatch midships accomodation cargo liner originally called the "Lions Gate" I think she was Swedish built around 1957 and was on her way to be scrapped when she was bought and converted into a sheep carrier.

In her day she was a beautiful vessel, lovely lines, twin engine, twin screw and good sea keeping in heavy weather. As officers we had the passenger accomodation which meant we each had our own bathroom complete with bath! The interior was wooden bulkheads, false fireplaces etc and there was even the plinth and glass dome where, it was said, the ticker tape machine was situated.

The ship's crew had the officers accomadation, all midships, and the shepherds where housed in the crew quarters aft. Despite the accomodation the conditions were not that great considering we were in the Gulf in June/July/August without and A/C and surrounded by wool.

The whole business of transporting the sheep was not for the faint hearted. It could take up to 4 days to load the 45,000 sheep into pens that were average about 20' x 20', some much bigger and some much smaller. The pens were about 3'6" in height and floored with fiberglass. Each set of pens could be connected by portable 'bridges' to allow the ship to cross from one set of pens to another. The shepherds came from Pakistan and were skilled at sheep handling and being able to get them to go where we wanted.

About 2/3rds of the sheep were below deck with the rest above deck. Below decks ventilation was provided by large fans, those above deck relied on any passing breeze. On loading the sheep were fed dried grass pellets and water which had to be manhandled to the troughs that were attached to the bars of the pens. The stronger or more wiley sheep would stay by the troughs throughout the entire voyage.

The sheep stood the whole way. Any that lay down or that had fallen were in danger of being trampled upon. The sheep's waste eventually dried and allowed a softer and usually less slippery surface to stand on. The head stockman was from Argentina, a very plesent chap called Carlos whose job it was to go round every day with a long pole and poke any sheep that were not standing and if they didn't get up they had usually died. The sheep would usually start to die after day 4 or 5 of our 15 day voyage from Fremantle to Bandhar Khomaine(?) ex Shapur). The number of deaths usually peaked about day 12 and it was common on this particular ship to loose about 4,000 each voyage.

As it was high summer discharge was done from 1900hrs right through to 0700hrs when the temperature was cool.

On the return voyage and once clear of the coast any bodies remaining on deck were heaved over the side and the process of cleaning the ship began. It was recokened that over 200 tonnes of sheep waste was hosed, brushed, scrubbed and pumped into the sea. The entire inside of the cargo holds were repainted and on arrival off Fremantle we had to wait for the inspector to come out to pass the ship clean before being allowed to enter the harbour. Once alongside the ship's complement had to leave the ship while it was fumigated, accomadation included. This provided a great excuse to visit the local mission but we had to stay in one room for the duration as our clothes reeked.

I understand that in 1980 the ship caught fire when fully laden and was abandoned with the loss of 2 of the shepherds and all the sheep.

Jan Hendrik
9th March 2007, 01:16
Quite a story.
Rached Fares (Fremantle) was an exporter of live sheep those days but went into receivership in the early 2000's if I remember.
In 1980 some 45.000 sheep perished during a massive fire on board the "Farid Fares" which sank on her way to the Middle East.

There is a bit more unpleasant reading about sheep that got lost during trips on the following site:
http://www.naturewatch.org/campaigns/australia/Background.asp

Harry Nicholson
9th March 2007, 19:31
If you have a weak stomach or are concerned about how animals are treated before slaughter become a vegitarian or maybe cabbage sqeek!!!!

Would you like to expand on this? I have been vegetarian for 18 years, on ethical grounds. What are you saying here? And what is a cabbage sqeek?

lakercapt
9th March 2007, 23:44
As in bubble and squeek an old nautical staple.

Bearsie
10th March 2007, 11:29
Has anyone ever worked on the so called "ships of shame", the ones that carry live sheep etc around the world?

I have seen media reports of the conditions on these ships and was wondering if things are really as barbaric as the media presents them.

The media will always present a hyped up worst case scenario, that is what sells copy after all !

On the other hand in modern society most folks have no clue how stuff is made, where it comes from and how it got into the store...
I don't believe that shipping companies are especially "cruel" to sheep, there is after all no money in having your cargo die on you.
Besides the ship is only one step in the transport link. First the animals walk half way across Australia, or Argentinia ( or a country of your choice), then trucks, then ship, then more trucks, or more walking.
Seems that there are 3 main reasons for life shipments of animals, besides the shipping of breeding animals, which you can rest assured are treated rather well! You look at a 200 000 $ bull as much as cross eyed, you lost your job...
Religious: most sheep and such are shipped live to Muslim countries.
Why? because of the way they butcher them (Halal)
Why not do it here? Our laws forbid the slaughter the "old fashioned" way...
This would be mostly Muslim countries.
Me thinks that Hindus by definition don't eat a lot of meat.
Jews were mentioned, but they are happy if a Rabbi is present at the slaughterhouse to certify that the meat is "kosher" so they are not a big customer of live shipments that I know of.
Logistics: usually supplies to 3rd world places with lack of refrigeration infra structure.
I assume we could get European tax payers to install Freezer houses in all sorts of out of the way places, and send the personnel to maintain them.
Just remember it is not enough to have a freezer at the port, you need one in each village and a power plant, and.. and...
It would be cheaper to move all those poor folks to Europe where the infra structure is already in place.

In general as with all other human endeavours, I suspect that there are 'good' and 'bad' guys, so perhaps some regulation is called for?

As an aside, no one calls passenger ships "ships of shame" despite the drowning of a few thousand passengers in ice cold water on the Titanic, we somehow managed not to claim that that is how passenger shipping companies treated their "chattel" on a regular basis....

And so it goes :)

GRHH
10th March 2007, 12:55
The media do have to sell copy so they will hype up their case. When I was on the "Farid Fares" we discharged the sheep on to a large wooden jetty where the receiver had made a compound with crowd control barriers. The compound held about 2000 sheep and when full a local chap would come along with another sheep, probably female, on a rope leash. The sheep in the compound noticed the other lone sheep and would follow it wherever the handler was going. I followed the herd of sheep one time to see what the next stage was. They were taken through a small built up area and into concrete holding areas where they would eventually be slaughtered. Any sheep that were unable to walk, either lame or blind, were taken to the holding area by truck. At the end of discharge the shore crowd would slaughter the infirm sheep on the jetty. I will not describe this as it is not pleasant to our western culture but perfectly normal to their culture.

The conditions for the sheep on the livestock carrier I sailed on were harsh. They were supposed to be sheared prior to loading in Australia and more often than not still had a good fleece which was disappointing as it was summer in the northern hemisphere and especially hot in the Persian Gulf. Being crammed into pens for as long as 20 days with constant artifical light would not be tolerated for road transport. Upon saying this however, some of the conditions I witnessed in the shore facility were worse. We at least had some compassion and did what little we could to ease their plight. Refrigeration is the answer. It was said to us that for every live sheep we could have carried 3 dead ones, frozen and not butchured. It was also rumoured that there was $90Aus per head difference between the bought and sold price. This would allow for a higher death rate when in transit. If there was less profit per head more of an effort might have been made to keep the sheep alive which would probably have meant less sheep per voyage and less profit. The only way to carry animals such as sheep, goats, cattle etc is on specially designed vessels and not ones that were altered. The "Danny F" was a converted oil tanker with the forward section cut away and all the sheep were on pens above deck. Their death rate was not as great as ours and by all accounts the ship was eaiser in every respect. The pens above deck on the "Farid Fares" were well above bridge level aft of the accomodation and level with the bridge forward. When in ballast condition we couldn't see straight ahead.

We did however have our weekly bar-b-q's on the boat deck and there was a certain ambience when eating a lamb chop while being watched by thousands of sheep. I was and still am a carnivore. Do plants not scream when they are cut?

JoK
10th March 2007, 12:57
I learnt something here, all stuff I sort of knew, but never put it together. We take so much for granted, the ability to flick a switch for light and open the refrigerator door when we are snacking.

Dick S
15th March 2007, 10:13
The posts by GRHH rekindled memories of my one and only experience of mass Livestock transportation. The 'Judas Sheep' as was called leading the others off the deck and sharks that followed the vessel. An article in the company magazine called 'Tally clerks nightmare'!!!

Dick

Norm
3rd May 2007, 03:53
The halal method of slaughtering an animal is to cut its throat. The heart pumps all the blood out of the severed artery. The animal dies slowly, and there is minimal blood left in the carcass. This is a method required by certain religions.
The question is often asked why don't they slaughter the sheep in the halal method in Australia.
If they did there would be a public outcry when the media inevitably published the details. So its a case of ship them live or loose the trade.
Over the horizon and out of sight.

trotterdotpom
3rd May 2007, 08:49
In the mid-80s, some Australian slaughterhouses were authorised to kill the beasts according to Muslim requirements, but, when they were inspected by officials from the Middle East, they were found to be taking various short cuts (no pun intended) and lost the contract. They cut their own throats!

John T.

dondoncarp
13th May 2007, 14:36
Theres a lot of talk of cattle being shipped by sea(understandibly as its a ships forum)but they probably endure more hardship as an example...being driven by lorry from say northern france to southern italy....thats a lot of hours by road.
Its a tough call...but if they are gonna(and i`m not saying i`m in favour of it)ship by road,rail,or sea....ithink it should be done by a set of rules which could be drawn up...so the cattle could be taken the least stressful way for them...and not what maximises the profit for the shipper.
I wouldn`t hold out much hope though(Thumb)

Split
13th May 2007, 16:33
I should think so, too! We are 120 years on, after all.

Split

janathull
30th May 2007, 06:29
I have been reading this thread with some intertest because in early 78 we loaded 5500 sheep on the deck of Jebsons bulk carrier Bernes for a voyage from Freemantle to Jeddah. We carried 4 stockman and the deck crowd helped them with the feeding, watering etc. Their dung was left to dry on the deck to help their footing. At no time were the sheep abused, we even knocked some of the pens down to give them more room. The wives including mine set up a hospital for sick sheep. On the whole trip we lost 60 and that includes the 2 we barbecued. The reatment in Jeddah was a differant matter. I think Jebsons did this a couple of times. janathull.

andysk
30th May 2007, 11:08
For a pic of Farid Fares, take a look at :

http://www.shipspotting.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=114586

Following ones for Farid Fares, previous ones for her replacement.

I make no comment on the ethics of this trade, which continues, here is not the place for that; thank you to the moderators for keeping it that way.

Cheers

Andy

Janner100
31st May 2007, 18:33
I seem to remember Smith's New Wesrminster City featuring in the News Of Th Wotld in 1968. They carried a cargo of wild animals some of which died and were photographed being dumped over the side. i think the engineer who took the photograph wasn't too popular.

bugga divino
8th August 2007, 02:34
The media do have to sell copy so they will hype up their case. When I was on the "Farid Fares" we discharged the sheep on to a large wooden jetty where the receiver had made a compound with crowd control barriers. The compound held about 2000 sheep and when full a local chap would come along with another sheep, probably female, on a rope leash. The sheep in the compound noticed the other lone sheep and would follow it wherever the handler was going. I followed the herd of sheep one time to see what the next stage was. They were taken through a small built up area and into concrete holding areas where they would eventually be slaughtered. Any sheep that were unable to walk, either lame or blind, were taken to the holding area by truck. At the end of discharge the shore crowd would slaughter the infirm sheep on the jetty. I will not describe this as it is not pleasant to our western culture but perfectly normal to their culture.

The conditions for the sheep on the livestock carrier I sailed on were harsh. They were supposed to be sheared prior to loading in Australia and more often than not still had a good fleece which was disappointing as it was summer in the northern hemisphere and especially hot in the Persian Gulf. Being crammed into pens for as long as 20 days with constant artifical light would not be tolerated for road transport. Upon saying this however, some of the conditions I witnessed in the shore facility were worse. We at least had some compassion and did what little we could to ease their plight. Refrigeration is the answer. It was said to us that for every live sheep we could have carried 3 dead ones, frozen and not butchured. It was also rumoured that there was $90Aus per head difference between the bought and sold price. This would allow for a higher death rate when in transit. If there was less profit per head more of an effort might have been made to keep the sheep alive which would probably have meant less sheep per voyage and less profit. The only way to carry animals such as sheep, goats, cattle etc is on specially designed vessels and not ones that were altered. The "Danny F" was a converted oil tanker with the forward section cut away and all the sheep were on pens above deck. Their death rate was not as great as ours and by all accounts the ship was eaiser in every respect. The pens above deck on the "Farid Fares" were well above bridge level aft of the accomodation and level with the bridge forward. When in ballast condition we couldn't see straight ahead.

We did however have our weekly bar-b-q's on the boat deck and there was a certain ambience when eating a lamb chop while being watched by thousands of sheep. I was and still am a carnivore. Do plants not scream when they are cut?

Having been a cadet and then 3/O on the live sheep trade between Aus and the PG, I spent around 5 years on these ships in all, starting from the late 80's.
The vessels I sailed on were mainly the Al Yasrah and the Al Qurain, which were converted tankers (sister vessels), each capable of carrying upto about 110000 standard sized merino wethers (neutered rams).

All sheep accommodation was above decks - 7 decks above the main deck, each deck divided into two tiers.

Each deck was further divided into 7 races or runs, running fore and aft, with alleyways between them. These runs were divided into pens, which housed the sheep. Each run had feeding troughs on one side, and watering troughs on the other. Supply of feed and water was plentiful, and delivery into these troughs was automated - there was a fodder pump room and a fresh water pump room for the purpose. To cite an example, a typical voyage from Portland or Fremantle to Kuwait (16 and 12 days respectively), would see the ship leave Aus with around 11000 tons of FW, and 3600 tons of feed. Ventilation through the sheephouse was a combination of natural wind and forced air ventilation to minimise ammonia buildup and hotspots.

The sheep were not cramped together randomly - there are strict minimum floor space requirements for sheep, which are based on average body weight. These were mandated by Australian law, and enforced by the Department of Agriculture. Often we had Government vets sailing with the ships to ensure that all laws and regulations were complied with.

Vessels were manned adequately with Bangladeshi stockmen - 3 to the deck, who would dispose of daily mortalities, and generally keep their sheep decks reasonably clean (under the circumstances). Highly experienced officers (ex SSM, Maersk, Clausen and others) ensured that the vessels were generally well run and maintained, in spite of being a little long in the tooth.

The floors of the sheep pens were made of water resistant woodply composite - these were much kinder to the sheep's hooves than steel.
The main cause of ongoing mortality was disease - salmonella for the major part. The sheep were medicated against this (onboard through their FW system) to minimise the mortality. As far back as I can remember on those ships, a mortality bonus was on offer for each trip where mortality was less than 1.8% of the consignment - we usually made the bonus. These sheep being neutered, were for routine meat supply to the PG - the fleet used to undertake one trip each year to NZ - Napier/Timaru, to pick up ram lambs (b****cks et al), during the month of Ramadan, for the ritual sacrifice. These were destined for Jeddah.

Over and above the sheep, these vessels used to carry upto 1000 head of cattle on the main deck (which was not divided into two tiers).

Occasionally, specially in the PG, with a following wind, these ships would develop 'hotspots', where sheephouse temperatures would rise dangerously. This was normally countered by the OOW by altering course, and changing the relative wind velocity - this would normally (not necessarily always) clear up the situation in the sheephouse.

In any case, temperatures in the PG in the Northern summer were always unpleasant (circa 38-42 C or even more), and mortality was somewhat higher. I have only ever had a single disastrous trip where we lost somewhere in the region of 7500 sheep due to mirror seas and high temperatures.

By and large, the sheep were treated humanely on board (apart from the odd barbecue), and with due respect to any legislative requirements. The consignee in Kuwait (who also owned and operated the fleet of vessels) was the main livestock trading entity in Kuwait (and the Middle East). They had reasonably modern facilities - feedlots, abattoirs, cold storages. They also engaged the services of highly experienced Australian vets and stockmen to oversee their livestock.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for consignees elsewhere in the Middle East, where there was no evidence of process or facility in the treatment of these animals.

Being a pacifist, and a (then) vegetarian, I was still able to reconcile over the years to working on these vessels - the sheep were certainly treated with humanity for as long as they were in our custody.

It was the treatment at the hands of other consignees in the Middle East that was somewhat questionable.

Cheers to all,
Bugga
(Smoke)
"Never play leapfrog with a unicorn"

Rekki
26th February 2008, 15:05
GRHH

I have been on board the Farid Fares, as chief officer about 1978 and were paid of in Fremantle with a lung dicease just after new year, which we celebrated at sea.
When were you on the Farid Fares ?

The media do have to sell copy so they will hype up their case. When I was on the "Farid Fares" we discharged the sheep on to a large wooden jetty where the receiver had made a compound with crowd control barriers. The compound held about 2000 sheep and when full a local chap would come along with another sheep, probably female, on a rope leash. The sheep in the compound noticed the other lone sheep and would follow it wherever the handler was going. I followed the herd of sheep one time to see what the next stage was. They were taken through a small built up area and into concrete holding areas where they would eventually be slaughtered. Any sheep that were unable to walk, either lame or blind, were taken to the holding area by truck. At the end of discharge the shore crowd would slaughter the infirm sheep on the jetty. I will not describe this as it is not pleasant to our western culture but perfectly normal to their culture.

The conditions for the sheep on the livestock carrier I sailed on were harsh. They were supposed to be sheared prior to loading in Australia and more often than not still had a good fleece which was disappointing as it was summer in the northern hemisphere and especially hot in the Persian Gulf. Being crammed into pens for as long as 20 days with constant artifical light would not be tolerated for road transport. Upon saying this however, some of the conditions I witnessed in the shore facility were worse. We at least had some compassion and did what little we could to ease their plight. Refrigeration is the answer. It was said to us that for every live sheep we could have carried 3 dead ones, frozen and not butchured. It was also rumoured that there was $90Aus per head difference between the bought and sold price. This would allow for a higher death rate when in transit. If there was less profit per head more of an effort might have been made to keep the sheep alive which would probably have meant less sheep per voyage and less profit. The only way to carry animals such as sheep, goats, cattle etc is on specially designed vessels and not ones that were altered. The "Danny F" was a converted oil tanker with the forward section cut away and all the sheep were on pens above deck. Their death rate was not as great as ours and by all accounts the ship was eaiser in every respect. The pens above deck on the "Farid Fares" were well above bridge level aft of the accomodation and level with the bridge forward. When in ballast condition we couldn't see straight ahead.

We did however have our weekly bar-b-q's on the boat deck and there was a certain ambience when eating a lamb chop while being watched by thousands of sheep. I was and still am a carnivore. Do plants not scream when they are cut?

JimC
26th February 2008, 21:07
In 1970 or thereabouts, I came ashore for a while and was employed by BOC as an LPG specialist. MY job was to promote usage and sales of LPG -mainly propane and butane. We had many weird calls for experimental work with the stuff. From keeping apple blossoms warm in spring, powering cars and buses to producing commercial greenhouse gases- (It was really our fault!)
On one occassion we were called out by the then Strathclyde Regional Council to solve a shipping problem concerning a vessel which had been wrecked on the Mull of Kyntyre. The ship had been carrying cattle and they had all perished - some by drowning others having been shot by marksmen from a helicopter. Whatever their final end - many carcases had been washed up on the rocky shores and it was forbidden for H&S reasons to remove them. We got the job of getting rid of them in-situ. A very gruesome experience. It was done by placing corrugated steel sheets, on each side of a beast to form a tent. Very large Amal burners were then ignited using propane from portable supplies. The smell was awful but the worst thing was getting the stomachs to burn. These took forever. Carrying the poor things is one thing but getting rid of them in these circumstances was entirely another 'ball game' as out American cousins say. Just thought I'd share that with you!

sparkie2182
26th February 2008, 21:11
if the walls of abattoirs were made of glass, we would all be vegetarians

ddraigmor
26th February 2008, 21:58
When I was in Jeddah with a deep sea tug, a sheep carrier came alongside one morning. The first sheep off had its throat cut and was thrown into the sea for the sharks. The stockmen said this was so any others falling in the mad scramble ashore could be pulled out intact. Hopefully.

I still cringe when I think about how the first sheep was slashed. However, I still eat meat.....

Jonty

Bearsie
26th February 2008, 22:22
if the walls of abattoirs were made of glass, we would all be vegetarians

I grew up in a small farming village, winter was pig slaughter time, any time was ok for chickens.
We didn't have abattoirs or glass walls, pigs were usually butchered in the barnyard and a block and tackle rigged by the barn door.
Always a great day for the family, what with all the sausage cooking n stuff :)
We had heard of abattoirs, but that was something only bad foreigners had in big cities...

Jan Hendrik
26th February 2008, 22:44
There have been various other posts on this subject.
One of them as follows:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=3013

James MacDonald
27th February 2008, 16:43
I sailed as O.S on the Lairdsglen during the early 60s.We sailed from Dublin to Glasgow twice a week with 500 head of cattle on the hoof ,We loaded the animals alongside the North Wall usually at the same time as other regulars in the port. It was a sight to behold when if you where unlucky enough to be caught in the street when loading ops started ,when hundreds of cattle were stampeding towards their ships chased by gangs of Irishmen on bicycles. The safest place was up a lampost until it was safe to come down.

JimC
27th February 2008, 17:11
I grew up in a small farming village, winter was pig slaughter time, any time was ok for chickens.
We didn't have abattoirs or glass walls, pigs were usually butchered in the barnyard and a block and tackle rigged by the barn door.
Always a great day for the family, what with all the sausage cooking n stuff :)
We had heard of abattoirs, but that was something only bad foreigners had in big cities...

Hi Bearsie!

They still do this here in Madeira.

Usually they buy a piglet early and start feeding it up until Xmas.

We saw this for the first time last year. We were renting a place out in the country. The young local guy next door had a very large sow in a stall under his house. We would watch him feeding it every day with fruit windfall and other bits and peices. About a couple of weeks before Xmas we were awaked very early by the most god-awful screaming. It was prepare Xmas dinner time. We looked out and saw the guy and what looked like half the neibourhood crammed into the pen. Four of them were piled on top of the pig and its throat had just been puntured. It was like a movie from hell! people kept running back and forward with buckets to catch the blood (I presume). Eventually the screaming stopped - beast was dead.
The next thing they did was bring-in a propane cylinder and gas torch and proceeded to burn off the hair.
I guess they had already gutted the animal - we were saved that exciting experience.
The whole operation took most of the morning. In the afternoon all the older relatives and friends arrived they proceeded to have a party with loads of beer, bread and some indescribeable soup/ stew sort of thing which the 'elders' made in a pot. Probably boiled blood or some other sort of ritual delecacy. They all ended up the day pissed out of their boxes and climbed into their cars and drove home. I decided not to drive myself that day!
A few days or so later we were again awakened by a great deal of shouting. This time there was six young guys. They were there to transport the carcase up two floors via an incredibly steep, narrow set of stairs on the outside of the building. There obviously was no room to butcher the thing in the stall so they were taking it up to the guy's garage to do the business. They of course had to tank-up with beer before starting to give them strength (as one does!).
I have never seen such a performance not before or since . What a pantomine! The beast must have been the biggest pig in the world. I could have sworn it was the size of a small heffer - it was gigantic. The antics of these six was a vision to behold - two at the head, two midship and two on on the ****. They shouted, waved (one arm each) pushed, shoved, struggled slipped, tripped and no doubt cursed (in Portuguese) all the way up the stairs. They eventually got the monster to its destination and proceeded to butcher it. There must have been enough pork to feed the entire villiage.
The moral of this story? - 'better a pig in a poke than a sow in the cellar'.

Cheers!

Jim C.

R781128
20th September 2008, 22:04
I was Chief Officer of Danny F carrying around 50,000 head. I spent 3 years
there from it's conversion until leaving because of the Iranian Revolution.

We treated the animals with utmost care as a dead one was a no pay one at the discharge port. There were losses but these animals were never mistreated in any way by the crew entrusted with their care.

I can't speak for all vessels but we did our bit to rid the trade of it's sometimes justifiable bad reputation.